Below is an exclusive Q&A from the Xbox Community Network, provided to thisisxbox.com which follows from the announcement today of the new musical score set to feature heavily and set the tone for 343 Industries upcoming Halo 4.
Q: What are you announcing today?
A: We’re excited to announce that contemporary music icon Neil Davidge, renowned producer for Massive Attack, is composing the score for “Halo 4.” Neil’s passion for the “Halo” universe and his unique vision for taking the music of “Halo” in a bold new direction while staying true to its legacy matched perfectly with ours, so he was a great fit. We’re thrilled with the groundbreaking work Neil’s already done on the “Halo 4” score.
Q: What is Neil’s background?
A: As co-writer and producer for the last three albums from pioneering trip hop group Massive Attack, Davidge is an award-winning composer, record producer, songwriter and musician who has helped create some of the most innovative sounds over the past two decades and made an indelible impression on the music industry. In addition to helping pioneer an entire genre of contemporary music, Davidge has established a career as a film composer, scoring acclaimed documentaries and composing additional music for Hollywood blockbusters like “Clash of the Titans.”
Q: Was Neil familiar with “Halo” when you approached him?
A: Neil has been a fan of “Halo” from the very beginning and has played each installment multiple times, so he’s very passionate about the universe and this project.
Q: Why did you select Neil for this important role?
A: As a studio, we’ve been longtime fans of Massive Attack and Neil’s work, so he was on a shortlist of top producers we considered from across the games industry, Hollywood and entertainment world from the outset.
Q: Is Massive Attack involved in the score of “Halo 4” as well?
A: Massive Attack is not involved in the score of “Halo 4,” but we’re thrilled to be collaborating with Neil Davidge, the renowned producer behind the groundbreaking music of their past three albums.
Q: Is Neil the only composer for “Halo 4,” or are there other contributors as well?
A: Neil is the lead composer for “Halo 4,” and he’s working closely with the audio team at 343 Industries, led by former “Metal Gear Solid 4” audio director Sotaro Tojima. We have assembled a team of world-class musicians, engineers and talent to work with Neil and Tojima-san to create an epic score for “Halo 4.”
Q: Will “Halo 4’s” music remain true to Bungie’s original direction, or will it be a completely new experience?
A: The music of “Halo 4” reflects the game’s bold and exciting new direction as the first chapter of an epic new “Halo” saga, but we’re taking great care to ensure it stays true to the “Halo” universe and lives up the franchise’s amazing legacy. Ultimately, our goal is to surprise and excite players with a riveting score that reinforces the deeper, more emotionally impactful story of “Halo 4” and immerses them more deeply in the mystery and wonder of the “Halo” universe than ever before.
Q: Is Marty O’Donnell (or any previous “Halo” composers) involved with the score of “Halo 4”?
A: Marty O’Donnell is not involved with the “Halo 4” score, but we have great respect and admiration for his contributions to the franchise and the amazing legacy he established for the series’ music. For “Halo 4,” we’ve enlisted renowned contemporary music icon Neil Davidge to compose an emotionally powerful score that stays true to the “Halo” universe, but takes it in an exciting new direction that builds upon “Halo’s” tradition of pushing the boundaries of video game music with epic-scale orchestrations and high-quality production values on par with blockbuster movies.
Q: How much music has Neil produced for “Halo 4”? How much will be included in the final game?
A: Neil has produced more than 100 tracks and more than seven hours of music for “Halo 4.” Right now we’re planning to use approximately four hours of that music in the game, but the exact length and number of tracks is still being determined.
Q: Are you planning to release an official soundtrack?
A: Yes, we are planning to release an official “Halo 4” soundtrack to mark the launch of the game this holiday. We don’t have any additional details to announce at this time, but we’re excited to share more soon.
Q: When will the original soundtrack be released?
A: The “Halo 4” soundtrack will be released close to the launch of the game this holiday. We haven’t announced a specific release date yet, but stay tuned.
Q: Are there any plans for a “remix soundtrack” featuring music from other producers?
A: Our focus right now is on completing the “Halo 4” score and official soundtrack. We have no other announcements to make at this time.
Q: Will Neil be composing the music for future titles in the Reclaimer Saga? How long does your partnership extend?
A: Our focus right now is on completing the “Halo 4” score and official soundtrack. We have no announcements about future “Halo” titles at this time.